Legend of Suriyothai

Saw The Legend of Suriyothai last night. The first Thai movie I’ve ever seen, this tells a story, apparently out of Thai history, of Princess Suriyothai, who was somehow involved in the goings on during a turbulent period in the country’s history in the 1530s.

The movie is epic in scope and length, and may be guilty of biting off more than it can chew–at several points, I wished I had a scorecard. In a period of roughly 20 years, Siam burns through four kings, what with civil conflicts, civil strife, usurpers, and the permanent threat of invasion by a drag queen in Burma.

There is as much treachery and intrigue as you’ll find in any two Shakespeare tragedies put together, along with a character, Srisudachan, who makes Lady Macbeth look like a harmless biddy. For that matter, Srisudachan’s maid makes Lady Macbeth look like a harmless biddy.

The eponymous heroine, however, is a model of wisdom and selflessness, and the whole story strikes me as a Buddhist allegory–world of strife, self-sacrifice for the good of others, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.